Frequently Asked Questions about the Head and Neck

Why do I have neck pain?

There are many causes of neck pain. Doctors are not always able to pinpoint the source of a patient's pain. Your doctor will make every effort to ensure that your symptoms are not from a serious medical cause.

What are the most common causes of neck pain?

  • Spondylosis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Muscle Strain
  • Mechanical Neck Pain
  • Radiculopathy (Pinched Nerve)
  • Spinal Stenosis (Cervical Myelopathy)

What are some of the symptoms of neck problems?

Symptoms from neck problems vary. They depend on your condition and which neck structures are affected. Some of the more common symptoms of neck problems are

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Pain spreading into the upper back or down the arm
  • Neck stiffness and reduced range of motion
  • Muscle weakness in the shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Sensory changes (numbness, prickling, or tingling) in the forearm, hand, or fingers

What can be done to relieve my symptoms?

Whenever possible, physicians prefer to use treatments other than surgery. The first goal of these nonsurgical treatments is to ease your pain and other symptoms.

Your health care providers will work with you to improve your neck movement and strength. They will also encourage healthy body alignment and posture. These steps are designed to slow the degeneration process and enable you to get back to your normal activities.


Many different types of medications are typically prescribed to help gain control of the symptoms of neck pain. There is no medication that will cure neck pain. Your doctor may prescribe medications to ease pain, fight inflammation, and to help you get a better night's sleep.

Soft Neck Collar

If your pain is severe, your doctor may recommend a soft neck collar to keep your neck still for short periods of time. Resting the muscles and joints can help calm pain, inflammation, and muscle spasm.

Cold Therapy

Cold therapy will help minimize pain and inflammation in the neck.

Physical Therapy

Treatments focus on relieving pain, improving neck movement, and fostering healthy posture. A therapist can design a rehabilitation program to address your particular condition and to help you prevent future problems.